Disputing HypnoBirthing Myths

Despite the common misconceptions about hypnosis, Hypnobirthing has nothing to do with a swinging pocket watch and a shady stage show. Here are some common myths about Hypnobirthing that you shouldn't believe.

  • Hypnosis is a form of mind control or brainwashing.

  • Hypnosis puts you in a deep sleep.

  • A person who's been hypnotized has no free will.

  • You can't perform usual tasks and functions if you're hypnotized.

  • You're unaware of what's going on around you when you're hypnotized.

Smiling Pregnant Woman
Pregnant Woman Staying Fit


On its own, the term hypnosis means “a procedure during which a person experiences suggested changes in sensation, perception, thought or behaviour.”


One particular branded version of hypnosis during the birthing process is referred to as HypnoBirthing.

While this basic idea has been around for centuries, the specific term was coined in the 1989 book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life written by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan. Her ideas are influenced by early “natural birth” proponents Dr Jonathan Dye and Dr Grantly Dick-Read.

At its core, HypnoBirthing aims to help a woman deal with any fear or anxiety she may have around birth. It involves various relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help relax the body before and during labour and birth.

The idea is that when the body and mind are in a completely relaxed state, birth can happen more quickly and painlessly because the body doesn’t fight the natural process.


Mostly it is a gentle view of childbirth takes the stance that both Mom's and Baby's bodies were made to do this, and they work together in harmony. Through practised deep breathing, visualisation prompts from their partners, and labour comfort measures, mothers can train their brain to elicit a deep relaxation response on demand.

Instead of feeling pain, Hypnobirthing mothers often describe the experience as feeling pressure and use the word "surges" or "waves" instead of contractions. At the core, yes—it's mind over matter, and thousands of women have proven it works.

The process of HypnoBirthing is based on the power of suggestion. The labouring woman uses positive affirmations, suggestions, and visualisations to relax her body, guide her thoughts, and control her breathing. She can either do this herself (self-hypnosis) or receive assistance from a hypnotherapist. 

A hypnotherapist may or may not be present during the birth, depending on the needs of the labouring woman. For some people, self-hypnosis is easy to achieve, while others respond better to the assistance of a therapist.